NBA Game Summary - Chicago at Boston
(Friday, December 19th)
Final Score: Boston 126, Chicago 108
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Ray Allen scored 27 and Kendrick Perkins added a career-high 25 points as the Boston Celtics rolled to their 17th straight victory, 126-108, over the Chicago Bulls.
Rajon Rondo had 15 of Boston's 40 assists and the defending NBA champions improved to a league-best 25-2 this season. Kevin Garnett scored 17 and Paul Pierce had 16 for the Celtics, who can equal a couple of records if they win at home against the New York Knicks Sunday.
The 17-game run is the second-best in franchise history, joining the 1959-60 squad. The team record victory streak is 18, established during the 1981-82 campaign. Also, the best a team has ever started in the NBA before a third loss is 26-2, set by the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers and equaled by the 1969-70 Knicks. Both of those teams went on to win the NBA title.
"Our mentality has always been, since last year, to take it a game at a time," said Garnett. "That's what we've been focused on. We have a Knick team that's coming in Sunday, better team, a more well-rounded team and a confident team."
Perkins went 12-of-15 from the field, all part of a 59.5 percent shooting effort for the Celtics, who forced 20 turnovers and used a 41-point third quarter to pull away.
Luol Deng had 19 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls, who lost their fourth straight road game. Andres Nocioni tallied 16 points and Derrick Rose 14 in defeat. Nocioni got more playing time because Drew Gooden sprained his right ankle in the first quarter.
The Celtics scored the opening nine points of the third quarter for a 66-55 lead. Garnett sank a pair of jumpers to cap the spurt.
Garnett's three-point play with nearly 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the third increased the difference to 80-65. Three-pointers from Tony Allen and Ray Allen made it an 18-point margin, and the Celtics carried a 98-82 cushion into the fourth quarter.
Many of the fans started to exit early in the fourth quarter to get a head start on the snowstorm wreaking havoc outside TD Banknorth Garden, and the Celtics pulled away. Leon Powe's two free throws made it 114-92 at the midway point of the fourth.
"This is Boston. This is not going to stop them. I've seen worse snowstorms and they've come out," said Pierce. "I saw a guy jogging today in shorts."
It was a swing of momentum in the first half. Perkins' jam gave the Celtics a 17-6 lead, and they were in front 31-21 going to the second.
Ben Gordon's three-pointer started an 11-3 push for the Bulls, who grabbed a 41-40 edge on a Larry Hughes jumper with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the half. Another Perkins dunk with a minute left in the quarter had Boston in front 57-55 at the intermission.
"They're a great team. They have a 17-game winning streak for a reason," said Gordon. "They're the defending champs. I thought we did a good job in the first half, sticking around in the game and keeping it close. In the third quarter they kind of jumped on us. We tried to give them a little resistance but we just didn't have enough manpower."
Tony Allen scored 10...The Bulls also got 10 points from Gordon and Joakim Noah...Chicago shot 50.6 percent from the field...Boston has won six straight meetings...Garnett has 20,807 career points, moving him past David Robinson and into 28th place on the league's all-time scoring list.
12/19 23:34:44 ET